Expressing gratitude

Ella Tallett

Pope Francis once said, “Let us thank all those who teach in Catholic schools. Educating is an act of love; it is like giving life.”

      This year, Xavier High School will celebrate its 23rd Catholic Schools Week from Monday, February 1 to Friday, February 5. Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States and is entering its 47th year, according to the National Catholic Educational Association. This year, one of Xavier’s main focuses for Catholic Schools Week is to recognize Xavier faculty and staff members in their vocation to teach at a Catholic school. 

        Maggie Conrad, a senior at Xavier and one of the captains of the Saint Catherine of Siena community, tells of the events being held during this special week that her community was tasked with planning. 

   “To show our appreciation to our Catholic school teachers, we will be organizing a teacher appreciation video for our Xavier faculty,” Conrad said. “I have gone to Catholic schools my entire life and the teachers at these schools have helped me become who I am today.”

   Conrad also says Xavier will hold a food drive during Catholic Schools Week where the collected items will be donated to HACAP, a local nonprofit organization working to improve human life in Eastern Iowa. There will also be trivia games over Catholic schools in the Cedar Rapids area and different dress days throughout the week. 

  Catholic Schools Week, however, is about more than just giving thanks for the different opportunities of attending a Catholic school. It is a time for reflection. 

     “I did not decide to teach here, I firmly believe God decided it for me. My original degree is in English (not education). After graduating, I got a job that I then lost a year later in the 2008 flood. After spending that summer reflecting on my life, I went back and earned a second degree in English Education,” Mrs. Molly Burgeson (X03), an English teacher who is in her tenth year of teaching at Xavier, said. “When that degree was finished, I spent a year subbing and a substitute friend of mine told me about a maternity substitution position [Tracie Marshall’s] open here at Xavier. I applied for that, which then led to a full time position the following year in the Theology Department. Some people would call this all great coincidence; I call it the will of God.”

  This Catholic Schools Week remember to express gratitude and learn about the stories of the faculty  who, through God’s calling, ended up at Xavier High School to cultivate students of both the mind and faith.